OECD unemployment rate in December 2017 falls below its pre-crisis level

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FOTO: Ixbalanqué DANELL PÉREZ

The OECD unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point in December 2017, to 5.5%. This is 0.1 percentage point lower than the level just before the financial crisis (April 2008), reflecting an increase in the active population, with the total number of unemployed people, at 34.8 million, still remaining 2.2 million above its pre-crisis level.

In the euro area, the unemployment rate was stable at 8.7% in December, but declined by 0.3 percentage point in Portugal (to 7.8%) and by 0.2 percentage point in Ireland (to 6.2%), Slovenia (to 6.2%) and Spain (to 16.4%).

Outside the euro area, the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point in Israel (to 4.0%) and by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 5.8%), Korea (to 3.6%) and Mexico (to 3.4%). It was stable in the United States (at 4.1%) and rose by 0.1 percentage point in Australia (to 5.5%) and Japan (to 2.8%). More recent data show that in January, the unemployment rate remained stable in the United States, while it increased by 0.1 percentage point in Canada (to 5.9%).

Between December 2016 and December 2017, the OECD unemployment rate declined by 0.7 percentage point, with significant falls (exceeding 2.0 percentage points) in some euro area countries such as Greece (between October 2016 and October 2017, the latest month available), Portugal and Spain.

The OECD unemployment rate for youth (people aged 15 to 24) also fell in December, by 0.2 percentage point to 11.6%, 1.0 percentage point below its December 2016 level.

 

Table 1: OECD Unemployment Rates, s.a.

Percentage of active population

2015 2016 2017 2017 2017
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
OECD – Total 6.8 6.3 5.8 6.0 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.5
Major Seven 5.8 5.5 5.0 5.2 5.0 5.0 4.8 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.8
European Union 9.4 8.6 7.7 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.3 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.4 7.3 7.3
Euro area 10.9 10.0 9.1 9.5 9.2 9.0 8.7 9.0 9.0 8.9 8.8 8.7 8.7
Australia 6.1 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5
Austria 5.7 6.0 5.5 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.4 5.3
Belgium (1) 8.5 7.9 7.2 7.6 7.3 7.1 6.7 7.2 7.1 7.0 6.8 6.7 6.6
Canada (2) 6.9 7.0 6.3 6.6 6.5 6.2 6.0 6.3 6.2 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.8
Chile 6.2 6.5 6.7 6.6 6.7 6.5 6.9 6.4 6.5 6.7 6.7 6.9
Czech Republic 5.1 4.0 2.9 3.3 3.1 2.8 2.4 2.8 2.8 2.7 2.6 2.4 2.3
Denmark 6.2 6.2 5.7 6.0 5.7 5.8 5.6 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.6
Estonia 6.2 6.8 5.6 6.6 5.7 6.0 5.4 5.8 5.2 5.4
Finland 9.4 8.8 8.6 8.8 8.7 8.6 8.7 8.7 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.7 8.7
France 10.4 10.1 9.5 9.7 9.5 9.6 9.3 9.7 9.7 9.5 9.4 9.3 9.2
Germany 4.6 4.1 3.8 3.9 3.8 3.7 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.6
Greece 25.0 23.6 22.6 21.6 20.9 21.0 20.8 20.8 20.7
Hungary 6.8 5.1 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.0 3.9
Iceland 4.0 3.0 2.8 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 3.0 2.9 2.9 2.9
Ireland 9.9 8.4 6.7 7.2 6.7 6.7 6.4 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.5 6.4 6.2
Israel 5.2 4.8 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.0
Italy 11.9 11.7 11.2 11.6 11.2 11.2 10.9 11.3 11.1 11.1 11.0 10.9 10.8
Japan 3.4 3.1 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.8 2.7 2.8
Korea 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.8 3.7 3.6 3.7 3.6
Latvia 9.9 9.6 8.7 9.0 8.9 8.7 8.1 8.9 8.7 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.1
Luxembourg 6.5 6.3 5.7 5.9 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.6
Mexico 4.4 3.9 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.3 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.4
Netherlands 6.9 6.0 4.9 5.2 5.0 4.7 4.4 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.4
New Zealand 5.4 5.1 4.7 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.5
Norway 4.4 4.7 4.3 4.4 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.0 4.0 4.1
Poland 7.5 6.2 4.9 5.2 5.1 4.8 4.5 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.6 4.5 4.4
Portugal 12.7 11.2 9.0 9.9 9.3 8.7 8.1 8.9 8.7 8.5 8.4 8.1 7.8
Slovak Republic 11.5 9.7 8.1 8.6 8.3 8.0 7.5 8.1 8.0 7.8 7.7 7.5 7.4
Slovenia 9.0 8.0 6.8 7.3 6.7 6.7 6.4 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.5 6.4 6.2
Spain 22.1 19.7 17.2 18.2 17.3 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.8 16.7 16.7 16.6 16.4
Sweden 7.4 7.0 6.7 6.7 6.7 6.8 6.5 7.1 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.4 6.5
Switzerland 4.8 4.9 5.3 4.4 5.0
Turkey 10.3 10.9 11.6 11.1 10.8 11.0 10.7 10.8 10.5
United Kingdom 5.3 4.8 4.5 4.4 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.3
United States (3) 5.3 4.9 4.4 4.7 4.3 4.3 4.1 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.1

 

Notes:

(1) Belgium: Due to a methodological break in the Labour Force Survey, data from the 1st quarter of 2017 onwards are not comparable with previous data.

(2) Canada: Unemployment rate for January 2018 was 5.9%.

(3) United States: Unemployment rate for January 2018 was 4.1 %.

Table 2: Unemployment Rates by Gender, s.a.

Percentage of corresponding active population

Women Men
2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017
Q3 Q4 Oct Nov Dec Q3 Q4 Oct Nov Dec
OECD – Total 6.0 5.9 5.7 5.7 5.8 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
Major Seven 4.9 4.9 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.1 5.0 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.8
European Union 7.9 7.8 7.6 7.7 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.1 7.2 7.1 7.1
Euro area 9.5 9.3 9.1 9.2 9.1 9.0 8.8 8.7 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.4
Australia 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.6 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.4 5.3 5.4 5.7
Austria 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.9 5.0 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.9 5.8 5.6
Belgium (1) 7.1 6.6 6.3 6.4 6.3 6.3 7.3 7.5 7.0 7.2 7.0 6.9
Canada 5.9 5.8 5.5 5.8 5.5 5.3 6.8 6.6 6.3 6.6 6.3 6.1
Chile 7.2 6.9 7.5 7.3 7.5 6.3 6.3 6.4 6.4 6.4
Czech Republic 3.6 3.3 2.9 3.1 2.9 2.8 2.4 2.4 2.1 2.3 2.0 2.0
Denmark 5.9 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6 5.7 5.6 5.6 5.4 5.4 5.3 5.4
Estonia 4.8 5.0 5.2 6.6 5.3 5.5
Finland 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.9 8.8 8.9 8.8 8.9 9.0
France 9.4 9.4 9.1 9.2 9.1 9.1 9.6 9.8 9.4 9.5 9.4 9.4
Germany 3.4 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.3 3.2 4.2 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0
Greece 25.4 25.4 17.3 17.0
Hungary 4.7 4.4 4.5 3.8 3.6 3.4
Iceland 2.9 2.8 2.9 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.8 3.1 3.0 3.1 3.0 2.9
Ireland 6.3 6.3 6.0 6.2 6.0 5.8 7.1 7.0 6.7 6.8 6.7 6.6
Israel 4.3 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.1 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.3 3.9
Italy 12.4 12.4 12.0 12.1 12.1 11.8 10.4 10.3 10.1 10.2 10.1 10.0
Japan 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.7 3.0 3.0 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.8
Korea 3.6 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.3 3.9 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8 3.8
Latvia 7.7 7.9 7.4 7.6 7.4 7.2 9.7 9.4 8.9 8.8 8.8 9.0
Luxembourg 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.3 5.3 5.4 5.9 5.9 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.8
Mexico 3.6 3.4 3.7 3.7 4.0 3.4 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.2 3.4
Netherlands 5.3 5.1 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.1
New Zealand 5.2 5.3 5.0 4.2 4.0 4.0
Norway 3.6 3.5 3.6 4.5 4.5 4.6
Poland 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.5 4.9 4.7 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.3
Portugal 9.4 9.3 8.5 9.0 8.4 8.1 8.6 8.1 7.7 7.8 7.8 7.4
Slovak Republic 8.2 8.1 7.6 7.7 7.6 7.4 8.0 7.9 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.4
Slovenia 7.7 7.8 7.6 7.8 7.6 7.3 5.9 5.7 5.3 5.4 5.4 5.2
Spain 19.0 18.6 18.4 18.5 18.4 18.2 15.7 15.2 15.0 15.1 15.0 14.9
Sweden 6.4 6.6 6.3 6.2 6.2 6.6 6.9 7.0 6.7 7.1 6.7 6.3
Switzerland 5.4 4.6
Turkey (2) 14.4 14.0 9.1 8.9
United Kingdom 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.3
United States 4.3 4.3 4.0 3.9 4.1 4.0 4.4 4.4 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.1

Notes:

(1) Belgium: Due to a methodological break in the Labour Force Survey, data from the 1st quarter of 2017 onwards are not comparable with previous data.

(2) Turkey: Due to changes introduced in the Labour Force Survey, data by gender from January 2014 onwards are OECD estimates.

Table 3: Unemployment Rates by Age, s.a.

Percentage of corresponding active population

Youth (15-24) Prime-age and Older Workers (25+)
2017 2017 2017 2017 2017 2017
Q3 Q4 Oct Nov Dec Q3 Q4 Oct Nov Dec
OECD – Total 12.0 11.9 11.7 11.7 11.8 11.6 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8
Major Seven 10.7 10.5 10.5 10.4 10.6 10.3 4.3 4.3 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.1
European Union 16.8 16.7 16.2 16.4 16.2 16.1 6.7 6.6 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.4
Euro area 18.9 18.7 18.1 18.4 18.1 17.9 8.2 8.0 7.8 7.9 7.8 7.8
Australia 12.6 12.7 12.3 12.1 12.4 12.3 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.1 4.0 4.2
Austria 9.7 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.8 9.3 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.8 4.8 4.8
Belgium (1) 19.2 18.2 16.2 16.2 16.2 16.2 6.2 6.2 5.9 6.0 5.9 5.8
Canada 11.6 10.9 10.9 11.1 11.0 10.5 5.5 5.4 5.2 5.4 5.1 5.0
Chile 16.9 17.4 17.2 17.4 17.2 5.5 5.3 5.7 5.5 5.7
Czech Republic 7.9 8.0 5.7 7.4 4.9 4.9 2.6 2.5 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.2
Denmark 10.9 11.2 9.8 9.8 9.5 10.0 4.8 4.8 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7
Estonia 11.0 8.1 6.8 5.3 4.9 5.2
Finland 19.9 20.3 20.0 20.1 20.0 19.9 7.1 7.0 7.1 7.0 7.1 7.1
France 22.6 22.5 22.3 22.4 22.3 22.3 8.2 8.2 7.9 8.0 7.9 7.8
Germany 6.9 6.6 6.6 6.6 6.6 6.6 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.3
Greece 40.3 40.8 19.7 19.5
Hungary 11.0 10.4 10.3 3.6 3.5 3.4
Iceland 8.2 7.9 8.1 8.1 8.1 8.1 1.8 2.0 1.9 2.0 1.9 1.9
Ireland 14.6 15.5 14.1 14.7 14.0 13.7 5.7 5.6 5.4 5.5 5.5 5.3
Israel 7.3 8.0 7.2 7.5 7.6 6.4 3.6 3.5 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.5
Italy 34.7 35.2 32.8 33.8 32.4 32.2 9.6
Japan 4.7 4.9 4.4 4.5 4.1 4.6 2.7 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6 2.6
Korea 10.3 10.2 10.4 10.5 10.6 9.9 3.3 3.2 3.2 3.1 3.2 3.2
Latvia 16.2 15.7 14.5 14.7 14.5 14.2 8.1 8.1 7.6 7.7 7.6 7.6
Luxembourg 15.3 15.4 14.5 14.3 14.5 14.8 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.9
Mexico 6.9 6.9 7.0 6.9 7.0 7.2 2.7 2.6 2.7 2.7 2.8 2.6
Netherlands 8.9 8.7 7.9 7.9 7.8 8.0 4.1 4.0 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.7
New Zealand 12.7 13.1 12.4 3.2 3.1 3.0
Norway 10.4 10.3 10.2 3.2 3.1 3.2
Poland 14.6 14.4 13.9 14.3 13.9 13.5 4.1 4.0 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.6
Portugal 23.8 24.0 23.1 24.5 22.8 22.1 7.9 7.5 6.9 7.1 6.9 6.6
Slovak Republic 18.6 18.6 17.4 17.8 17.3 17.0 7.3 7.1 6.8 6.9 6.8 6.7
Slovenia 11.7 12.0 12.5 12.5 12.5 12.5 6.4 6.2 5.9 6.0 5.9 5.7
Spain 38.7 37.7 37.2 37.6 37.1 36.8 15.7 15.3 15.1 15.2 15.1 15.0
Sweden 17.7 18.3 17.2 16.7 17.3 17.6 5.2 5.3 5.1 5.3 5.0 5.0
Switzerland 10.4 4.2
Turkey 20.8 20.0 8.9 8.6
United Kingdom 11.9 12.2 3.1 3.1
United States 9.2 9.0 9.2 9.0 9.6 8.9 3.6 3.6 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.4

Note:

(1)   Belgium: Quarterly data are shown for youth unemployment. Due to a methodological break in the Labour Force Survey, data from the 1st quarter of 2017 onwards are not comparable with previous data.

Table 4: Unemployment Levels, s.a.

Thousands of persons

2016 2017 2017 2017
Q2 Q3 Q4 Sep Oct Nov Dec
OECD – Total 39,341 36,235 36,444 35,852 34,960 35,546 35,092 34,998 34,782
Major Seven 20,546 18,938 18,976 18,825 18,200 18,565 18,279 18,223 18,099
European Union 20,939 18,828 18,965 18,595 18,142 18,442 18,319 18,128 17,978
Euro area 16,254 14,795 14,874 14,632 14,277 14,517 14,405 14,272 14,153
Australia 726 726 725 721 715 711 705 710 731
Austria 270 246 245 243 242 242 243 243 241
Belgium (1) 390 358 364 354 336 348 343 335 331
Canada 1,361 1,247 1,273 1,222 1,176 1,218 1,221 1,168 1,139
Chile 563 592 593 582 613 598 603 613
Czech Republic 212 155 162 150 132 147 142 129 125
Denmark 187 172 171 173 166 170 168 164 166
Estonia 47 46 40 40 36 38
Finland 237 234 235 233 235 233 234 235 237
France 2,972 2,815 2,825 2,850 2,750 2,816 2,779 2,738 2,733
Germany 1,774 1,633 1,646 1,617 1,593 1,611 1,603 1,594 1,581
Greece 1,131 1,036 997 995 990
Hungary 234 198 193 188 183 179
Iceland 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Ireland 195 158 155 156 150 156 154 150 147
Israel 188 168 175 164 168 163 168 173 163
Italy 3,009 2,909 2,904 2,904 2,831 2,876 2,863 2,838 2,791
Japan 2,080 1,896 1,933 1,880 1,860 1,880 1,870 1,850 1,860
Korea 1,012 1,028 1,050 1,014 1,005 1,022 997 1,011 1,007
Latvia 95 85 87 85 79 82 80 79 79
Luxembourg 18 17 16 17 16 16 16 16 16
Mexico 2,085 1,854 1,872 1,795 1,874 1,828 1,862 1,894 1,866
Netherlands 539 438 453 428 399 422 404 397 395
New Zealand 133 127 128 126 122
Norway 132 121 113 111 111 115
Poland 1,063 844 876 822 779 808 794 779 763
Portugal 572 464 477 449 417 439 434 417 401
Slovak Republic 267 223 229 219 208 216 211 207 205
Slovenia 80 69 68 69 67 69 68 67 65
Spain 4,481 3,917 3,927 3,818 3,770 3,802 3,792 3,773 3,745
Sweden 366 359 358 366 353 365 361 347 351
Switzerland 238 213 243
Turkey 3,330 3,482 3,451 3,434 3,343
United Kingdom 1,599 1,454 1,405 1,405 1,419
United States 7,751 6,982 6,941 6,947 6,572 6,759 6,524 6,616 6,576

Note:

(1) Belgium: Due to a methodological break in the Labour Force Survey, data from the 1st quarter of 2017 onwards are not comparable with previous data.

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